God comes near in times of suffering
“I, John, your brother and partner in the tribulation and the kingdom and the patient endurance that are in Jesus, was on the island called Patmos on account of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus.”
John is the human author of the Revelation. It has been sixty years since John the disciple had seen Jesus after the resurrection and ascension. He’s now 90 plus years of age. You would think it was time to check into the retirement home and have a nice rocking chair into heaven. But not true for John.
John was exiled and banished and persecuted for his faith, for the Word of God and the testimony of Jesus. During his exile on this isle of Patmos was one of extreme depravation and desperation, of pain and alienation and separation from friends.
Maybe you’ve discovered that you’re on a personal Patmos journey, that you are lonely and limited and isolated and cut-off, suffering in some way. You may be living on an island of an unhappy marriage or the island of an unhealthy body, and shut out or shut off from family and friends. Some are persecuted for the sake of the Gospel. Millions have died in martyrdom for the faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
The Bible says all who live in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution. There should be at least opposition if we’re standing firm in our faith for the Lord Jesus Christ.
Yes, there is tribulation but we are not alone on our personal island of Patmos! You may be in a hospital room or a nursing home. You may be in prison. You may be old and tired and feeling like the whole world has forgotten you. But you are not alone if you are in Jesus.
In our greatest trials we know that God comes very near, and we can experience His presence like never before!